I like to call blogging the ‘traditional’ social media because it’s been with us for such a long time and, when compared to the likes of Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat, it can sometimes look and feel pretty ‘old hat’.
But don’t dismiss it out of hand.
It might not be sexy, but blogging still provides businesses, organisations and individuals with an incredible opportunity to build visibility, influence and trust in the marketplace.
When it comes to content marketing for PR, a blog plays a critical role. If used correctly – with passion, purpose and strategic intent – it should, over time, become the heart of your online content efforts.
With this in mind, here are three broad things to consider when establishing a blog for your business, organisation or personal brand:
You need a plan.
It doesn’t need to be over-cooked, but you do need to articulate the purpose of your blog.
- What specifically are you trying to achieve?
You also need to have a solid understanding of your intended audience.
- Who makes up your ideal readers – what’s of interest and relevance to them, and what actions do you want them to take?
If you’re going to undertake a broader content marketing for PR program, you will need to develop a more detailed strategy that would incorporate your blog.
TIP – don’t let ‘perfection’ stand in the way of ‘getting it done’ – you can plan all you like but success comes to those who execute. Most successful bloggers will attest it’s more important to take action today and evolve your presence over time versus waiting until the time is ‘right’.
Before committing to a fully-blown blog, be aware of the amount of time it’s going to take to establish and maintain it over the long run.
Blogging is not a short-term endeavour. It takes serious time and effort to build a solid base of original content that attracts an audience.
- Are you willing to make the commitment?
Building a successful blog has a lot to do with finding not just your voice, which will develop over time, but also your rhythm. This means creating a content calendar and publishing to a regular schedule.
While this is not a guarantee of success, of course, consistency will put you in better stead than your competitors who may be haphazard and ad hoc when it comes to blogging.
Some 10-12 years ago as blogging started to emerge on the new media landscape, it was possible to establish a blog and people would find you easily enough.
Typically the ‘blogosphere’ was collegiate and community-minded, and bloggers tended to cross-promote each other. In essence, if your blog was any good, it wasn’t super-difficult to get some momentum going and start building an audience.
Fast forward to today and while the blogging community can still be very community-minded in niches, bloggers are now competing to be heard across multiple platforms.
Readers, spoilt for choice but with dwindling attention spans, are definitely harder to reach.
Therefore, in order to grow one’s blog readership, it’s important to put as much effort into promotion as it is in content creation.
This can be done in several ways, for example:
- building an audience on social media and promoting your articles accordingly (without being spammy about it),
- reaching out to influencers in your field with a view to encouraging them to amplify your work,
- some ‘pay-to-play’ investment on social channels, for example, Facebook advertising.
Of course, nothing beats building your own email subscriber list and promoting your articles to people who have already opted in to hear from you.